Related Policies and Additional References:
The plan has been developed to provide information to the Facilities Services staff and the University community about the locations of asbestos material on campus and the safety procedures when handling or working around asbestos containing material. The plan includes the following:
- Asbestos Awareness
- Nature of Asbestos
- Rules and work practices that will protect staff and the university community from exposure
- Procedures to remove asbestos materials from buildings (Asbestos Abatement Process)
- Responsibilities and Recordkeeping
- Location of asbestos containing materials on campus.
Asbestos Awareness Training
Asbestos Awareness training is offered annually to all staff in Facilities Services. The training will provide information regarding safety and compliance when handling asbestos containing material (ACM) and information on the exposure mechanisms and health effects. An “Asbestos Awareness, Understanding the Risks” training DVD is also available to all University faculty and staff through the Facilities Services Office.
Nature of Asbestos
Asbestos is a material that can cause injury to an individual if they are exposed in heavy concentrations over a long period of time. Asbestos fibers are airborne transmitted, commonly entering the body by breathing. Asbestos fibers become airborne when they are friable, meaning you can crush the dry material in your hand. It can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. The most common type of friable asbestos material is contained in some hot water pipe insulation.
Asbestos does not present a danger as long as it is managed, meaning you know where it is located, that you inspect it regularly, and avoid disturbing that material. Managed means that the friable materials remain contained, sealed, or encapsulated. Make sure that you do not disturb or damage any ACM by grinding, crushing, sawing, drilling, chipping, boring, or pulverizing the material. The Asbestos Management Plan is a series of policies and practices describing the management and safe removal.
Asbestos in concentrations greater than 1 part per million (ppm) by volume are regulated. This means that certain federal and state laws are in effect for the protection of the occupant. The regulations are administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). Trace content, less than 1 ppm, is not regulated because it does not pose a health risk.
Most asbestos is present in mechanical rooms in the form of pipe insulation or in floor tile. A material is homogeneous when all the materials in the same building are similar. An example of homogeneous material is the floor tile in a building of the same size and color. A test is performed on one piece of sample tile. If the test for asbestos is positive, then all tile of the same style or color is assumed to be positive. Likewise, if it is negative, then all tiles are considered negative.
The following type of materials may contain asbestos. If your job task requires you to work with or around any of the following structures, consult your supervisor and review the completed surveys to determine if the structure has been identified to contain asbestos.
- Pipe and duct insulation
- Building insulation
- Wall and ceiling panels
- Carpet underlay
- Roofing materials
- Patching and spackling compounds
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Electrical wires
- Textured paints
- Construction mastics (floor tile, ceiling tile, carpet, etc…)
- Fire doors
- Fire proofing materials
- Cooling towers
- Boiler insulation
Protecting Occupants and Staff From Exposure
St. Mary’s University strives to maintain a work place that is safe from accidental exposure to asbestos through administrative controls, engineering controls, and use personal protective equipment.
- Before drilling, boring, chipping, cutting, breaking, grinding, or crushing any floor, wall surface, or any material, be aware of posted warning signs and the list of locations of asbestos.
- Report damage to asbestos containing materials immediately to your supervisor and Facilities Services.
- If you are assigned to remove pipe insulation, check the list to find if the pipe insulation contains asbestos. Look for warning labels. If asbestos is not indicated, cut into insulation carefully and verify by sight. If you find a white powdery material inside, then seal the tear immediately.
- If you are performing utility repairs to a utility system that uses asbestos-cement pipe, ensure proper safety procedures are followed. An asbestos consultant is required to be present to perform air monitoring during work when asbestos pipe is repaired, removed, or replaced.
- Follow precautions when working around asbestos so that the metal or canvas jacket is not injured.
- During actual asbestos abatement (removal), please observe warning signs and stay out of the designated area.
- If working around asbestos causes you anxiety, then ask to be re-assigned.
- If you need asbestos insulation removed because of a pipe, valve, or packing repair; identify the area that you need removed using red spray paint and contact Facilities Services.
- Maintenance (striping, cleaning, buffing) of floor tile containing ACM will be performed with low speed buffers. Refer to Proper Floor Buffer Use (2/20/2003) in the Facilities Services Safety program Description documents, Section 33.
Procedure to Remove the Asbestos from a Building
- The procedures are well defined in the standards of the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (TAHPR) that were approved and became effective on October 20, 1992. The TAHPR established the procedures and means to implement the provisions of Chapter 295, Occupations Code.
- All asbestos removal must be performed by licensed contractors and work must be performed as directed by federal, state, and local regulations.
- All asbestos removal projects require the assistance of an industrial hygiene service firm. They will provide a work plan, provide assistance with the selection of the contractor, assist with the filing of the notification, supervise the contractor, and perform air monitoring for the university. No abatement contractor may perform his or her own consulting service.
- The use of a consultant also applies to emergency maintenance removals. Under no conditions should abatement occur in occupied offices during normal working hours.
- Survey and disposal records all asbestos abatement jobs are maintained by the Associate Director, Operations and Construction Management. These records will contain the building name, scope of work, specific tasks performed, work plan, copy of the TDSHS permit notification, name of abatement contractor, copy of abatement contract, date of work, daily work sheets, results of air monitoring by the industrial hygienist, and disposal certificate.
Responsibilities and Record Keeping
Facilities Services management oversees all work and contractors to ensure safety and compliance. The Associate Director of Operations and Construction Management is responsible for the retention of records relating to asbestos abatement projects, as well as the updating of the information pertaining to the location of ACM on campus. All contractors hired to provide asbestos abatement are licensed and certified in abatement and disposal of ACM. St. Mary’s employees who might perform work in areas that may contain ACM shall be trained on asbestos handling safety procedures and supervised by a qualified person that is certified in asbestos abatement. Records of asbestos survey, abatement, and disposal are kept in the Facilities Service Skilled Crafts Office. The Asbestos Management Plan shall be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure accurate information is available to employees.
Available in the Office of Facilities Services:
Campus locations that have been surveyed for asbestos containing material